Spreadsheet Thinking, or Bad Thinking?

I really enjoyed this piece by Robert Kosara on “spreadsheet thinking vs database thinking.” Describing the former as “short and fat” and latter as “long and skinny,” Robert documents why database-style datasets win out. 

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This is a helpful distinction, but it might be unfair for spreadsheet users. Because you can apply database thinking to spreadsheets. 

It’s all about putting data in a form that is easiest for the computer to manipulate. This means your inputs should be stored separately from outputs and no inconsistently formatted fields.

A spreadsheet that doesn’t do these things isn’t designed using “spreadsheet thinking.” It’s just designed badly.

Watch for this in your spreadsheets — are you treating it like a database? I highly encourage you to check out the full post.

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